ASSIGNMENT OF WOMEN TO GROUND COMBAT UNITS

Date Signed: 4/24/2012
ALMARS Active Number: 012/12

R 232219Z APR 12
UNCLASSIFIED//
ALMAR 012/12
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
SUBJ/ASSIGNMENT OF WOMEN TO GROUND COMBAT UNITS//
POC/-/-/UNIT: MPO/-/TEL: (703) 784-9386/TEL: DSN 278-9386//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  AS MARINES, WE ARE ALL JUSTIFIABLY PROUD OF THE VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS OUR MARINES MAKE DAILY, AND WANT TO ENSURE THAT EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES TO EXCEL EXIST FOR ALL MARINES ACROSS THE CORPS.  FOR THE PAST YEAR WE HAVE BEEN PARTICIPATING IN A CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) LED REVIEW OF THE LAWS, POLICIES, AND REGULATIONS THAT MAY RESTRICT THE SERVICE OF FEMALE SERVICE MEMBERS IN ALL MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTIES (MOS').  BASED ON CONGRESSIONAL DIRECTION IN THIS YEAR'S NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT (NDAA), THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE PROVIDED FURTHER GUIDANCE IN FEBRUARY 2012 TO THE SERVICES TO ASSESS THE IMPACT OF NEWLY OPENED POSITIONS IN PREVIOUSLY CLOSED UNITS AND TO CONTINUE EVALUATING ADDITIONAL POSITIONS THAT MAY BE OPENED TO OUR FEMALE MARINES ACROSS THE CORPS.  ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE DIRECTED THAT MEASURED AND RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH BE CONDUCTED TO PROVIDE ME WITH THE INFORMATION AND DATA NECESSARY TO MAKE AN INFORMED AND EDUCATED RECOMMENDATION ON POTENTIAL POLICY CHANGES.  THE CUMULATIVE RESEARCH EFFORT WILL INCLUDE AN EXCEPTION TO THE GROUND ASSIGNMENT POLICY, QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH, AND A TOTAL FORCE SURVEY.
2.  CURRENT GROUND ASSIGMENT POLICIES RESTRICT THE ASSIGNMENT OF WOMEN SERVING IN AN OPEN PRIMARY MOS (PMOS) TO CERTAIN UNITS IN THE GROUND COMBAT ELEMENT (GCE).  THE EXCEPTION TO POLICY WILL ALLOW US TO BEGIN ASSIGNING ACTIVE DUTY, UNRESTRICTED, FEMALE COMPANY GRADE OFFICERS, GUNNERY SERGEANTS, AND STAFF SERGEANTS IN THEIR CURRENT PMOS' TO ARTILLERY, TANK, ASSAULT AMPHIBIAN, COMBAT ENGINEER, COMBAT ASSAULT, AND LOW ALTITUDE AIR DEFENSE BATTALION STAFFS IN ORDER TO FACILITATE OUR RESEARCH EFFORT.  FEMALE MARINES POSSESSING AN ADMINISTRATION, LOGISTICS, COMMUNICATIONS, SUPPLY, OR MOTOR TRANSPORT MOS MAY BE ASSIGNED TO THE ABOVE UNITS AS PART OF THE NORMAL ASSIGNMENT PROCESS DURING CALENDAR YEAR 2012.  FEMALE NAVY MEDICAL OFFICERS, CHAPLAINS, AND CORPSMEN (E-6 AND E-7) MAY ALSO BE ASSIGNED TO THESE BATTALIONS.  FEMALE MARINES AND SAILORS WILL BE ASSIGNED TO BATTALION STAFFS IN THEIR PMOS.  THE DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS WILL DIRECT AND MONITOR ALL ASSIGNMENTS UNDER THIS EXCEPTION TO POLICY.
3.  TRAINING AND EDUCATION COMMAND WILL CONDUCT QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH TO GATHER PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE DATA.  BEGINNING THIS SPRING, MALE AND FEMALE MARINES IN ENTRY LEVEL TRAINING AND MALE MARINES FROM A GCE BATTALION WILL BE SOLICITED TO VOLUNTEER TO CONDUCT THREE TESTS; HEAVY MACHINE GUN LIFT, CASUALTY EVACUATION, AND MARCH UNDER LOAD.  THESE TESTS ARE BASED ON EXISTING TRAINING AND READINESS STANDARDS AND WILL SERVE TO PROVIDE ANALYTICAL DATA TO INFORM MY RECOMMENDATIONS.  ADDITIONALLY, FEMALE GRADUATES OF THE BASIC OFFICER COURSE WILL BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOLUNTEER TO ATTEND THE INFANTRY OFFICER COURSE (IOC) PRIOR TO ATTENDING THEIR PREVIOUSLY ASSIGNED PMOS SCHOOL.  FOLLOWING IN TRACE, WE WILL TAKE MEASURED AND RESPONSIBLE STEPS TO PROVIDE OUR FEMALE ENLISTED MARINES WITH FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES TO VOLUNTEER TO TRAIN WITHIN THE INFANTRY TRAINING BATTALION (ITB).  THE INFANTRY PMOS WILL NOT BE AWARDED FOR VOLUNTEERS THAT ATTEND IOC OR ITB DURING THE RESEARCH PHASE.  THE DATA AND INFORMATION COLLECTED WILL PROVIDE THE FACT-BASED ANYALTICAL DATA NECESSARY TO FORMULATE MY RECOMENDATIONS REGARDING THE POTENTIAL ASSIGNMENT OF FEMALE MARINES TO THE GCE AND OTHER CLOSED MOS'.
4.  ALSO, I HAVE DIRECTED THAT A TOTAL FORCE SURVEY BE CONDUCTED THIS SPRING TO GATHER YOUR INPUT REGARDING POTENTIAL CHANGES TO THE CURRENT ASSIGNMENT POLICIES RELATED TO FEMALE MARINES.  YOUR EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS WILL BE INVALUABLE AS WE CONTINUE TO EVALUATE CHANGES TO EXISTING POLICIES.
5.  I EXPECT ALL LEADERS TO BE FULLY COMMITTED TO PROVIDING EVERY MARINE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE AND EXCEL, WHILE SUSTAINING UNIT EFFECTIVENESS, READINESS AND COHESION, AND MAINTAINING GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE.  I WILL CONSIDER THE RESULTS AND IMPACT OF THE EXCEPTION TO THE GROUND ASSIGNMENT POLICY, THE QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH, AND THE TOTAL FORCE SURVEY AS WE MAKE FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE POTENTIAL ASSIGNMENT OF WOMEN TO GROUND COMBAT ELEMENT UNITS.
6.  SEMPER FIDELIS, JAMES F. AMOS, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS//